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The Park: Is it Worth the Price of Admission?

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A dash of thought process, a little darkness and a couple of jump scares seems to be the current recipe for a slew of horror games on the market today. So how does The Park differ, if at all? The horror game genre has been one to really come to fruition with the introduction of titles such as Five Nights at Freddy’s and has now become a mainstay for a lot of YouTubers and Streamers alike. The Park retails at just over $17 on the Australian Playstation store and offers about an hour and a half of content if all details are taken in and appreciated. With very little replay-ability it is the initial experience that will determine its value.

Considering the main narrative is very short it is hard to expand on it without giving too much away, but it would be fair to say that it takes place in a park. A theme park none-the-less, where you play as the main protagonist who is in search for her lost son whilst uncovering the dark and sinister history of the theme park. This is but only part of the main direction of this game with the rest being very much a psychological thriller.

As far as a walking sim goes, the graphics are quite savvy but there's nothing earth breaking here but they are decent enough though. It did have a cool visual mechanic when trying to aid you in which direction to move towards and the odd “mind-bending” moment but other than that it stays pretty neutral. The only real flaw I found with the graphics was when you looked down and looked at your feet and proceeded to spin at 360 degrees your feet would not move, in turn producing a movement only Michael Jackson would be proud of.



To coincide with the graphics, a good walking sim/ horror title requires a decent array of audio to keep the game from feeling stale or predictable. For the most part The Park delivers on this also. Jump scares initially are not predictable but at times they all follow the same formula, making them easier to negotiate if you are like myself and are susceptible to browning your dacks. Other than the odd collectible, with information pertaining to the main narrative you do rely on the sounds and slight narration to guide you through what is actually going on.


Granted this game does have a spooky edge and does have the ability to generate some genuine tension, I just felt left wanting a little more substance. This being said, the genius behind the horror and suspense in this game is not only delivered in the form of jump scares. Jump scares seem to be the main direction of most horror titles on the market today but it’s the psychological thriller aspects and sleight of hand in The Park that truly thrusts this title to the mantle of ‘value for money’. At its current price point it can be concluded that gameplay time and price are not on par but price point versus experience bridges the gap a little more effectively.

I don’t always enjoy horror games but the mind bending psychological edge this game possesses did not only encourage me to see it through, but at the end of the day completely enjoy it. I have no problem recommending this to those who love this genre but if you're unsure about it I would probably suggest waiting for a sale to pick it up a little cheaper as it does not have a massive body of content or exploration value and at times feeling somewhat linear. This being said the main plot lines which I can’t emphasise in fear of divulging too much critical information and heading into spoiler territory is what really holds The Park up. Some of the themes are pretty deep and all come to a quite dark conclusion, not for the faint of heart.

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